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Just who is doing the testing hiring, anyway?
Letter to the editor from Ask The Headhunter's Nick Corcodilos reprinted from Inc. magazine, October 2006 edition. This letter is in response to Inc.'s August 2006 article, The New Science of Hiring.

Institutionalized hiring methods have removed a manager's responsibility and authority from hiring. Corporate America would do well to stop letting psychologists, test companies, and personnel jockeys do the manager's primary job, recruiting and hiring.

The new canard is the same as the old: Interviews should be objective. If that's true, then the most objective interview would rely only on tests and forms and eliminate any human interviewers. (Your psychologists would love that, eh?) The best managers are those who hire well. They are not objective. They are biased toward candidates who will fit the team and do a good job.

Behavioral interviews are all talk. It's not true that "bluffing becomes close to impossible." Every job-hunting book on the market teaches how to blow through a behavioral interview. It has become the new "what's your greatest weakness?" Put the candidate in front of the job, and let her show you how she will do it. Even if she's not yet skilled at this job, a good candidate will ask the right questions.

Open-ended questions are supposed to be good because they reveal the inner candidate. (Exactly how do we objectively rate answers to open-ended questions?) The real purpose of open-ended questions is to correct a problem that HR experts created. These questions are intended to catch a candidate off-guard so you can see what she's really like. The only reason that's necessary is that "scientific" and "objective" interviews are deconstructed in thousands of guides that teach candidates how to beat the interview. The best way to help a candidate get past memorized answers is to introduce her to your team and let her show what she can do. People are at their most real when they're doing what they're good at--their work.

Nick Corcodilos
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